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Summary: By grace we can integrate our lives and always do what we are doing

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Tuesday of 5th Week in Course

February 10, 2009

Recollection

The Latin phrase says it well–age quod agis–do what you are doing. Two men are on a journey one day. The first complains to the second that he never focuses on anything; he’s always being distracted by something. The second disputes the claim and says he can and does focus on doing what he is doing frequently. The first man says “I bet you a banana split that you can’t walk for five minutes with me, praying in your heart, without getting distracted.” “You’re on,” the second answers. A minute later, he asks, “can I have two cherries?”

It is important that as we make progress in the spiritual life, disciplining our words and thoughts and mind and emotions, we also make progress in integrating our life into an imitation of Jesus and Mary. The Pharisee believed that he could be justified by performing certain actions and avoiding others, and so he ended up almost worshiping the rules, and making life miserable for folks who didn’t interpret the Law in the same way. Worse, even, in their practical life they ended up cheating others–their parents, the poor and marginalized. So they were torn in two directions, and could not grow.

Jesus, whenever he was doing anything, was fully engaged with all his faculties in doing it. We, when competing interests demand a division of our attention, experience dissatisfaction with the task or tasks. If we are to become whole in our spiritual life and at ease with our work, we have to let grace work in us to focus our energies on the most important thing. If it is prayer, we pray and when our job distracts us, we pray about our job. If it is work, we work at the job and use all needed energy to do it.

The great example of what can result is given in Genesis. God is so integrated in Himself that His existence and essence are one, and so the whole of creation is an effortless task for Him. We’ll never reach that degree of integration, but by His grace, we can certainly aspire to the integrity of Jesus and Mary.


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